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Employment status management through the CO eService (CO eService)

Anonymous (not verified)
Published on: 16/09/2008 Document Archived

The Comunicazioni Obbligatorie - CO (Compulsory Communication) is an innovative Italian eService for the management of the employment/unemployment status of citizens in Italy. Until the deployment of the CO eService, most notifications required manual intervention at most stages and interoperability was purely recommended. Since its implementation the CO eService has processed over 380,000 user registrations and 12 million CO notifications, most of the data and information are safely web shared (interoperability) and paper-documents are no longer needed. The CO eService actually improves the Public Administration’s efficiency: every communication is real time processed and forwarded to both public and private entities that have to manage the employment status information, thus it achieves full interoperability and complete cooperation between national, regional e provincial administrations. It enhances the transparency, quality and efficiency of public administration and it simplifies administrative processes for labour market analysis and management. The CO provides special features for monitoring the Italian labour market. Enabled users can access to this special CO section and they can aggregate, cluster, etc. information and print statistic about e.g. the distribution of hiring according the economical sectors, the typology of the applied employment contract, etc. The CO eService deals with information of more than 30 million people, it enables public subjects to discover and suppress the “undeclared/ black work” for a better economical public governance, and it provides innovative cross checking tax declarations and payment monitoring features. The Co eService represents the base for the Labour Service Network – the interoperability-based framework which Ministry of Labour is developing - and it is ready to anticipate targets exposed by the UE initiative “New skills for new jobs” (Council Resolutions of 15 November 2007 - 2007/C 290/01).

Policy Context

In response to the Community recommendations, and in particular in accordance to the Lisbon Agenda and i2010 initiative for jobs and growth, the Italian Government has started issuing new regulations in order to liberalise the labour market and related services, and to innovate and make available electronically public services. Italian primary actions (2000-2006) were more focused on the territorial infrastructure investments for the innovation. In this context the responsibility for job search services has been decentralised from the central level (Ministry of Labour) to the Regions and Provinces. Job related information has been managed by the local offices of labour (Centri Per l’Impiego – CPI) and this caused a certain degree of fragmentation and replication. If we consider that Italian public administration is divided into different levels of political management, namely Central Government, 20 Regions, 110 Provinces and about 8100 Municipalities, it’s easy to understand how this information was fragmented and unsynchronized. The 2007 strategy has focused more on the sharing of common and consistent objectives between all types of administrations (concept of ‘cooperative governance’). The aim is to guarantee full administrative interoperability, pursuant to the principle according to which citizens should perceive the public administration as a single entity. In this context, 30th October 2007 the Italian central government approved and issued an inter-ministerial law about a new electronic service to communicate hiring, contract renewing, etc. about employment status. This innovation has been the result of the collaboration between the Italian Ministry of Labour and the Italian Ministry of Innovation. In particular, these actions has leaded to an evolution from the old electronic services for labour (Sistema Informativo del Lavoro – SIL), based on a centralized structure, to the new Labour Service Network, which has a federal approach based on interoperability, cooperation, re-use of open source software among administrations.

Description of target users and groups

CO is the notification that employers, either public or private, have to forward when recruiting, processing, shifting, dismissing any employment relationship. Every communication is real time processed and notified to the Italian Ministry of Labour, the Italian National Social and Welfare Services (INPS, INAIL, ENPALS, etc) and local offices of labour ("Centro Per Impiego" - CPI). Thus the CO eService achieves full cooperative governance towards actual both public/private entities interoperability. The eService manages the employment status information from the first search to retirement and thus already provides features to improve the anticipation and matching of skills and labour market needs.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

The CO eService has been designed to communicate with the already available autonomous regional systems (Lombardia, Valle d'Aosta, Piemonte, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Toscana, Marche, Umbria, Puglia, Lazio, Abruzzo and Liguria) and to provide a transitional service to the Regions (Sicilia, Calabria, Molise, Sardegna, Campania and the independent province of Trento) where data integration at a wider level was not yet ready. This communication is achieved by the use of interoperability technologies which connect Ministry and autonomous regional systems. The CO eService provides four basic communication models, namely, UNILAV, UNISOMM, URG, and VARDATORI. The UNILAV and UNISOMM are the models to communicate hiring, shifting (e.g. from part-time to full-time), extending, and dismissing. The UNILAV is designed for both public and private end users with the exception of temporary employment agencies, while UNISOMM is specifically designed to temporary agencies communications. The VARDATORI is a standardized model to communicate changes in the business unit of the employer (e.g. after a fusion). In case of factoring requirements, the URG is the model to communicate an urgent hiring. In this context the basic software and hardware requirements were the system capability to manage and process incoming and forwarding data.

Technology solution

The CO eService is organized in different functional modules that shape the federal approach in Italy to job market monitoring. The CO is collected at provincial level where it receives its protocol number (id and registration time). The COs are then collected at regional level, then by means of the interoperability-regional-gate they are forwarded and univocally registered at national level, and the XML-Repository module that makes the information available for both further notifications to other national public services (interoperability and full governance) and statistical purpose (labour market analysis). A specific “CO Queue handler” parallelizes and optimizes the incoming communication stream. The enabled end user can then directly interact with the national portal to monitor the CO and the employment status of a worker. The COs are sent to the upper and lower area level towards electronic-gates (“Porta di Dominio”) that guarantee the confidentiality and security of communication through user identification, authentication, and authorization. Full interoperability and cooperation among different public administration has been achieved by the “eGovernment envelope” (Busta di eGovernment) standard from the CNIPA (National Centre for Informatics in Public Administration).

Technology choice: Standards-based technology, Accessibility-compliant (minimum WAI AA)

Main results, benefits and impacts

The CO eService is actually increasing the transparency, quality and efficiency in public job-market related services. Simultaneously it is possible to simplify the burden arising from public administration and reduce the digital divide. It achieves full interoperability and complete cooperation between administrations, and simplifies and reorganizes some administrative processes. Since its activation it has managed more than 12 million of electronic communications and this simplification reflects in a public money saving which could reach the amount of about 0,5% italian GPD (Ministry of Labours estimate). Every single electronic communication substitutes at least four past hardcopy communications: before the introduction of the CO eService, every employer had to notify any change in his workforce employment status to different public entities: INAIL, INPS, UTG (i.e. the Territorial Government Office), and local CPI. At present, every communication is electronically registered once and the registration identification number is shared among the public entities that are due to manage the employment data. Citizen data are inserted only once into the system and public officers belonging to different public entities haven’t got to input the same information several times. The CO eService had a very high impact on administrative procedures. Nowadays operators don’t have to deal with manual intervention at most stages anymore and they can focus their activities towards value-added services. In turn, the administration is able to provide more productive and less expensive services. Adopting the CO eService, the Italian Government did a fundamental innovation toward the data redundancy reduction, data sharing and interoperability. By means of special functionalities as the “Cruscotto” (dashboard), the CO eService also offers innovative powerful tools to politicians for a better policy to boost the employment and reduce unemployment, it makes already available innovative real time tools for improving the anticipation and matching of skills and labour market needs. The “Cruscotto” represents a valuable, innovative, effective and powerful Decision Support System (DSS), and politicians can plan actions to boost specific economical sectors according to local industries and services needs and citizens’ background and skills (“new skills for new jobs”). The achieved results boost the further CO eService development, in particular some further modules are managed or are going to be managed soon: - “Comunicazioni Obbligatorie Gente Di Mare – UNIMARE”, i.e. the CO eService specifically designed to manage the compulsory notifications for maritime workers, started 1st August 2008. - “Istanze”, i.e. a service to manage the employment of Extra-EU citizens in response to a direct request of a company.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Larger than €10,000,000

Track record of sharing

The CO eService has the potentiality for the implementation of full interoperability, good governance, improve effectiveness, transparency and provide innovative tools for real time labour market analysis and management. The good practice has been extending to the maritime compulsory communication, in particular the UNIMARE modules have been awarded by the Italian Ministry for Public Administration and Innovation for its efficiency for service improvement and cost savings (; A summary about the efficiency and effectiveness of the CO eService has recently been published by “The European Journal of ePractice” The paper entitled: “CO eService: the Italian eGovernment revolution for the Compulsory Communication of the employment status” presents the real-time Italian labour market monitoring figures. The CO eService has been as well recently presented at the Annual congress of the The Public Administration Information Systems Professional Association: ( held in Mamaia, Romania 4th – 6th September.

Lessons learnt

In less than a year the CO eService case has demonstrated that actual interoperability for good governance is possible in order to improve the services to citizen and save public money. Furthermore the service provides: 1. Interoperability and burocracy reduction is actually achievable. 2. eGovernment services and in particular CO eService already meets the Lisbon Agenda 2020 raccommendation about “early warning system” 3. ICT can actually contribute to semplify the employment status data management, reduce the public cost for burocracy, provide effective tools for the labour market needs and offer matching. Every communication is registered once and its ID is shared by both public and private entities which have to manage the employment/unemployment status and related information (e.g. working insurance, retairing contributions, ecc.) and at different level of administrative organization and management. The centralization of a such data allows developing and exploiting innovative tools for labour market monitoring and the actual photography of citizens’ background and job needs make the politicians able to plan effective education and training policies, and make the skills gap less wide. The “cumpolsoriety” of the centralization of the information also provides innovative methods to monitor and uncover undeclared/black work and by means of the interoperability features it is possible to develop cross – administration checking (e.g. tax declaration and payement). The developed architecture is modular and thus the CO eService can easily integrate new services, in order to grow the Labour Service Network. The CO eService good practice can be applied to different labour context and connected to further European Countries in order to develop an innovative labour market intelligent cell, as indicated by the UE initiative “New skills for new jobs”.

Scope: National